Unite Update

Dear Member,

On Monday 20 July our members in Premier Periclase had been set take strike action in a dispute arising from the company’s proposal to lay off our members or put them on reduced hours, while transferring work to non-union labour and retaining contractors on site. Earlier this week talks were held at the Workplace Relations Commission, and Regional Officer Willie Quigley spoke to LMFM’s Michael Reade on Wednesday to give an update.  Click here to listen to the interview.  A proposal from the WRC was subsequently received, on foot of which our members voted to defer strike action and participate in a two-week process of engagement.

As workplaces continue re-opening, Unite’s priority has been to ensure that our members in all sectors are safe.  Click here to read our statement on the particular issues facing driving instructors, and here to listen to Regional Officer Jean O’Dowd summarising their concerns. The Irish Times’ addressed the issue in this feature article yesterday.  Unite member and driving instructor Laura Broxson also appeared on Today FM’s Last Word programme to outline the issues.

Opposition to the far-right in all its forms is central to the politics and practice of Unite and the wider trade union movement:  those seeking to sow division and hatred have nothing to offer working people.  At this week’s ICTU Executive Council meeting, Unite raised the issue of the far-right using issues including homophobic abuse to arrange fascistic rallies as happened in Dublin last Saturday. This is just the latest episode in a concerted effort by the far-right to organise here in our communities, and electorally.  It was agreed that Congress would issue a strong statement reaffirming our movement’s opposition to such campaigns of hate, which you can read here. Earlier in the week I wrote a blog post on the issue which you can read here.

As we deal with the social and economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic, and the inevitable attempts to attack workers’ living standards, solidarity has never been more important.  Unite will continue working to build that solidarity, and to oppose any groups attempting to undermine it in order to advance their own agenda of division and intolerance.

As always, I would urge you to engage with and share Unite’s content online to stay up-to-date with what your union is doing and saying; links to our platforms are below.

In solidarity

Brendan Ogle
Senior Officer – Republic of Ireland
Unite the union